George Groves produced a superb performance to retain his WBA world super-middleweight title as an enthralling points win over Chris Eubank Jr took him into the World Boxing Super Series final.
The 29-year-old was patient throughout, preventing his rival from boxing up close by mixing good footwork with solid counter-punches.
A cut above Eubank Jr’s right eye in the third round hampered the 28-year-old, who enjoyed joy of his own in a riveting 12th round, where noise in the Manchester Arena reached a crescendo with both men looking vulnerable.
But Groves’ poise in parts was key and the 117-112 116-112 115-113 scores on the judges’ cards means he will meet either England’s Callum Smith or Jurgen Brahmer of Germany in the final.
Groves’ camp celebrated wildly on the announcement – their man had upset the bookmakers’ odds, despite coming into the bout as a world champion and having only ever lost when contesting world titles in the past.
He felt aggrieved he did not score a knockdown when Eubank Jr tumbled to the floor in the 10th and also revealed he thinks he dislocated his shoulder in the thrilling final round.